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Wine Appreciation | 1 Wine Dude - Page 5

Posts Filed Under wine appreciation

Are Wine Critics “Wasting” Points On A Wine’s Color?

Vinted on November 9, 2011 binned in best of, commentary, going pro, wine appreciation

Well… are they?

Some background: Wine critics generally use a 100-point scale when evaluating wines (I know most of you know this, bear with the exposition, people!). I don’t, because I think it implies a level of accuracy in evaluating a moving-target product (that can change within hours in the glass, let alone within years in the bottle) and so I (begrudgingly – hey, you asked for them!) use a “fuzzier” scale to evaluate the wine that I’m fortunate (and, ok, sometimes not-so-fortunate) enough to have cross my lips.

Generally, it’s assumed that many (probably most) wine critics reserve some part of their rating score for a wine’s color. For example, long-time Wine Spectator editor James Suckling once explained via video how he doles out his points when reviewing a wine, in which “things like color get 15 points.”

But is a wine’s color an important enough aspect on which to base 15% or so of one’s critical rating?  According to a (very) informal poll I took recently via twitter and facebook, the answer is probably “No.”

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Are You Drinking Wine, Or Just Squashing Grapes?

Vinted on September 21, 2011 binned in commentary, going pro, wine appreciation, wine tasting

Today we will speak of current NFL coaches, former baseball catching stars, and Jedi Master Yoda.  And wine – almost forgot about the wine…

See, I’ve been getting a little bit of flak over how publicly I’ve worn my NFL team allegiance colors on 1WD. And so, true to form, I’m going to go deeper into that forest today. Because at heart, I am a stinker.

For days now I’ve been rubbing the almost-scabbed-over wounds of the Steelers dismal showing of a season opener against the hard-hitting Baltimore Ravens, because part of the healing process for sports fans after such a loss is wallowing in your pain and misery as long as reasonably possible, taking in as much about the heart-wrenching as you can, before letting it all (ok, most of it) go. Real fans know what I am talking about here – sure, the Steelers romping all over the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday salved the aching a bit, but c’mon – it was the Seahawks.

And so it was in that wallowing-mode capacity that I came across this little ditty of a quote by Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, when asked about the dreadful day one loss:

“I think the people that know and compete in this league understand that there is a fine line between drinking wine and squashing grapes. Obviously, last weekend we were grape-squashers.”

Ah, the sanctimonious pleasure of shared pain! Tomlin’s it-makes-sense-until-you-reread-it, Yogi-Berra-worthy reference to vino got me thinking about the difference between drinking wine – really drinking it and appreciating it, I mean – and throwing it down our gullets the same way we in the U.S. do with most of our food; which is to say, devouring it so quickly that it looks as if we’re worried someone will come along and snatch up our plates if we don’t clean them off within 4.2 nanoseconds…

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Why Every Wine Lover Should Have A Wine Blog

Vinted on August 8, 2011 binned in best of, commentary, wine appreciation, wine blogging

If you love wine, you can do something that costs $0.00 and almost certainly will up your wine appreciation and wine tasting I.Q. score varios puntos. Namely, start a wine blog.

Right now.  It will take you less than ten minutes.  Go to wordpress.com and create a blog, and your first post can be as simple as “hey, I really think I dig wine, and I want to talk about it.”

You shouldn’t expect anyone to read it yet, but that’s not the point.  The point is to journal your own personal journey with wine.

I can feel the collective groan of WineSpectator.com forum members, other wine bloggers, and print media at the suggestion that every Tom, Dick, Harry, Sally, and Bacchus start churning out their own personal impressions on the wines that they try and how it affects their lives.

And I’m here today to tell those people to go shove it.

Start a wine blog, and piss all of them off.  Do it because it will help you learn about wine, because it will help you share some of your wine experiences with your friends, because it will encourage you to taste more and more wine and get to know your own wine preferences better.

But most of all, do it because it’s good for the wine industry if you start blogging about wine, because the positives of every additional ounce added to the volume of the current wine media sea change far, far outweigh the potential negatives. More on that in a minute.

You will hear from many that you shouldn’t, of course, for a large variety of reasons. So let’s just call bullsh*t on just about every one of the reasons right now…

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Who Has The Most Influence On The Wines That We Buy?

Vinted on June 1, 2011 binned in best of, commentary, going pro, wine appreciation, wine buying

Several days ago, a lively discussion took place here in the comments on a post (okay, “rant”) that challenged wineries in emerging wine regions to focus on fewer, higher-quality bottlings, and not to pawn off poorly-made (or not-quite-ready-for-prime-time experimental) wines onto customers at their tasting rooms (a scenario which I’ve experienced first-hand).

In those comments, frequent-visitor and formidable-wine-blogger-in-his-own-right Thomas Pellechia raised a couple of fascinating related questions, about which he, in turn, challenged me to write:

“…is there or should there be a relationship between what the wine ‘press’ prefers and what the wine ‘tourists’ buy? And who’s got the upper hand when it comes to establishing the success of a winery?”

Put another way, if critics say a wine really sucks, how relative of a measure is it?  Do people act on that assessment when it comes to buying wine?  And if they do, should they?  Could a winery still manage to pawn off its crappy stuff to newbie consumers in the tasting room, even if critics pan the bejeezus out of it?

Not easy questions to tackle.  In fact, they’re like trying to tackle Jerome Bettis in his heyday.  If I’d have had any clue just how deep a rabbit hole I’d be diving into after promising Thom I’d take on the topic, I would have told him (politely) to get bent and stop leaving such profound comments on my blog.

And this rabbit hole goes pretty deep, boy.  What I found in my quick-and-dirty investigation reveals a lot about how we buy wine, calls into question the future relevance of wine criticism generally (including my own modest contribution to that sphere), and tells us why it still might be possible for wineries to close many a tasting room sale on their crappiest offerings.

So take the red pill, if you dare, and I’ll show you just how deep the rabbit-hole goes…

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